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September 16, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Metro: improvement for room

CITY subway commuters may get a little more elbow room by the end of this year.

The Metro authorities have begun test runs on a new four-car train that will carry 1,170 people on Line 6.

The new train will be the 22nd to run on the line, and the authorities plan to increase the number to 32 before the 2010 Shanghai World Expo to cope with an increase in passengers and address complaints about overcrowding.

"The new train will relieve both passenger flow and gripes about us," said an official surnamed Feng with the Metro operator, Shanghai Shentong Group.

Shanghai's subway system is one of the fastest-growing in the world, with plans to make it the biggest by 2012.

It now runs eight lines over 250 kilometers of track, carrying about 4 million passengers a day.

Complaints have mounted among commuters about crowded carriages and long waiting times since Line 6 started operations in December 2007.

Line 6 runs through Pudong New Area through 26 stations. It carries about 170,000 passengers a day, more than 4 percent of total Metro volume.

Up to 6,000 people board the trains during rush hour from 8:30am to 9:30am.

The Metro operator increased capacity on the line last year with two new trains, but that did not stop public grumbling about the service.

"We are still squished together like sardines in a tin," said Lu Fei, who rides Line 6 every morning to his job as a logistics manager.

Feng admitted it is a hard job keeping up with demand. The more capacity is increased, the more people ride the trains, he said.

"The best way, probably the only way, we can solve our problems is to introduce more trains," said Lan Tian, a Metro spokesman.

More than 1,000 new train carriages will arrive in Shanghai by the end of this year.

They will be phased into use on Metro lines 6, 8, 9 and on four new lines due to fully open before Expo begins.


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